Costa Rican Food: 50 Best Costa Rican Dishes And Traditional Food in Costa Rica To Try

Last updated on July 11th, 2021 at 05:33 am

Today we will write about Costa Rican food with the best 50 Costa Rican dishes. The Costa Rican cuisine is not yet world famous, but one thing is for sure, the food in Costa Rica is good! But there are also some dishes that are authentic traditional food in Costa Rica to try and drinks in Costa Rica!

Breakfast will be the cheapest meal of the day and you can load up on Gallo Pinto, tortillas, eggs, fried plantains and some fresh fruit too for around $5 USD per person. At lunch you might want a chicken sandwich for $8-10 USD salad, burger and pizza with a fresh fruit drink for $3 USD. Desserts in Costa Rica is around $5 USD. Read here vegetarian food in Costa Rica, drinks in Costa Rica and Costa Rica travel tips.

You can have a budget of $20 USD a day and it can already get you more then enough decent meals. Costa Rica is little bit pricey comparing to the other countries like Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua in Central America.

Read here Ibiza food, Switzerland FoodFilipino foodFood in GuatemalaFilipino street foodstreet food in Southeast AsiaMalaysian Food and vegetarian food in Malaysia.

As one might expect, It’s hard to travel without Internet because you’ll need your GPS to track your location and destination. Besides reading guides from blogs prepare you beforehand. Also, your own SIM is important for communicating with locals. Read here Costa Rica sim card for tourist and how to get from San Jose airport to city center.

Read here Budget travel in Costa Rica and Backpacking Costa Rica!

Costa Rican Food And Costa Rican Dishes

BEST TRADITIONAL FOOD IN COSTA RICA

In this article you can read the following 50 dishes from Costa Rica featuring Costa Rican breakfast and traditional Costa Rican food for lunch and dinner.

Of course we will talk about Costa Rican desserts and tamales, drinks in Costa Rica keep reading below the best food in Costa Rica that you should try.

1. GALLO PINTO

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Gallo Pinto is the favorite breakfast of Costa Ricans and it’s considered the favorite Costa Rican food of locals. Gallo Pinto add black beans or red beans to their rice and pair it to other dishes. There are many variations of Gallo Pinto in Costa Rica but each variation proves that Gallo Pinto is better than old plain boring rice in the morning. Price of Gallo pinto is around $5-6 USD in local restaurants.

2. Casado

Costa Rican food, food in Costa rica, costa rican dishes, Costa Rican cuisine, Casado
Image from Wikimedia

Casado is similar to Gallo Pinto in Costa Rican cuisine. Casado is served for lunch black beans and rice with salad, plantains (fried banana) and your choice chicken, fish, pork or beef. There are different versions and all of them are delicious. It’s served in sodas local restaurants for $5-6 USD.

3. CEVICHE

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Ceviche is served in all parts of Latin America. The raw fish is marinated in lime for 12 hours, so it is no longer so raw. Ceviche usually spends on shrimp, lobster, lemon, cilantro, tomatoes, and plenty of seafood. Costa Rican cuisine serves ceviche usually for lunch and dinner as one of the most popular food in Costa Rica. Prices are around $6-7 USD.

4. Sopa Negra

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Image from Flickr

Sopa Negra is a great option for vegetarian food in Costa Rica. The soup is made of black beans with onions, peppers, coriander and more vegetables. You can add spicy sauce if you like it. Prices are around $5-6 USD.

5. Chifrijo

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Chifrijo is one of my favorite Costa Rican dishes made of chicharrones (fried pork), beans, rice, tomatoes, avocado and you eat with tortillas (chips or corn). Prices is around $6-7 USD in local restaurants.

6. Olla de Carne

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Olla de carne is a beef stew made with corn, cassava, carrots, plantains, taro root, and you can add more vegetables. Apart from the stew is served with rice and beans. Prices are around $6-7 USD.

7. VIGORON

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Vigoron is a traditional Costa Rican dish made with cabbage salad, tomatoes, onions and with vinegar, pepper and salt. It´s boiled with yuca and chicharrones (fried pork also used in the Philippines). As street food is served in a banana leaf. Prices are around $6-7 USD.

8. Arroz Con Pollo

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Arroz con Pollo is rice with fried chicken. Arroz con pollo is usually served in local restaurants with French fries and salad. Prices are around $6-7 USD.

9. Arroz con Camarones

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Arroz con Camarones is rice with fried shrimp. Arroz con camarones is usually served in local restaurants with vegetables and salad. Prices are around $6-7 USD.

10. Arroz Cantones

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Arroz Cantones is a popular dish in Costa Rica with Asian influence. Arroz cantones is the version of Chines fried rice with vegetables. It’s delicious and you can find for $6-7 USD.

11. Fried Snapper

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Fried Snapper is a popular fried dish in Costa Rica. Fried Snapper is usually served with French fries and salad. Prices are around $7-8 USD.

12. Bistec Encebollado

Image from Los Inventos de Lisa

Bistec Encebollado is a steak with caramelized onions. Bistec encebollado is served with white rice, black beans, French fries and salad. Prices are around $10 USD.

13. Carne Asada

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Carne Asada is a traditional barbecue teak grilled and you can eat with corn tortillas and different sauces. Carne Asada is often grilled for parties and events with drinks and music around.

14. Chop Suey

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Chop Suey is made in Costa Rica with Chow Mein noodles and with chicken, shrimps, meat or vegetables. Another Costa Rican dish with Asian influence and prices is around $6-7 USD.

More Costa Rican Food And Costa Rican Dishes

Snacks in Costa Rica

15. AREPAS

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Arepas is made of flour egg and milk a kind of small pancake. Mostly people love eating with chocolate syrup or similar sweeteners but you can also eat with cheese. Arepas are a popular dish in Costa Rica and in the other countries in Latin America.

16. EMPANADAS

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Empanadas is my favorite street food in Costa Rica. You can find fried empanadas salty with meat, cheese, beans, potato, chicken or fish. There are also sweet empanadas with butter and dulce de leche so delicious too! Prices are around $1 USD.

17. TAMALES

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Tamales is a popular Costa Rican food and also in Latin American. Tamales is steam corn dough filled with meat, cheese or vegetables. Tamales is served in a banana leaf and you can eat as snack or for breakfast. Prices are around $5 USD.

18. Pozol

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Pozol is a popular soup in Costa Rica. Pozol is cooked with corn and pork meat. You can add meat, carrots, garlic and tomatoes.

19. Pejibaye Soup

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Pejibaye Soup is a traditional dish in Costa Rica. Pejibaye Soup is made of pejiyabe palm fruit common in Central America and you can add onions, garlic, sweet peppers and milk or cream. The dish is similar to pumpkin soup.

20. Rondon Soup

Rondon soup is a popular Caribbean coconut seafood that is served in Costa Rica. It’s so refreshing and typical in the beaches in Costa Rica you can add shrimp or lobster and it tastes so delicious.

21. Sopa de Mariscos

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Sopa de Mariscos is a traditional dish in Costa Rica and Central America. You will find sopa de mariscos in the coast with shrimps, lobster, seafood and you can add vegetables. Prices are around $8 USD.

22. Plantains

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Plantains in Costa Rica is the green long banana not really sweet and is fried in Costa Rican cuisine. It’s usually served as a side dish with black beans, rice in the most popular Costa Rican dishes. You will see plantains everywhere in Costa Rica.

23. PUPUSAS

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Pupusa as street food in Costa Rica you can find everywhere. The pupusas are corn tortillas filled with cheese, meat, cheese, tomato sauce, beans and similar staff. Pupusas are the most popular food in Salvador but you will find in Costa Rica too. Prices are around $1-2 USD.

24. Homemades Tortillas

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Homemades Tortillas is made from corn and flour. And it’s eaten with every meal in Costa Rica and Central America. Starting from Mexico you will find in every single country in local restaurants when traveling in Central America.

25. Nachos

Nachos are fried corn tortilla triangles. Nachos is usually served with black beans, beef, chicken and cheese. Nachos is a perfect one in the list of Costa Rican dishes for sharing and prices are around $5-6 USD.

26. Chicharron

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Chicharron is fried pork belly served with lime and salt. You can have as a snack or in a dish with yuca and mixed with vegetables too. Prices are around $6-7 USD in local restaurants.

27. Patacones

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Patacones are deep fried green plantains. Patacones are served as a snack with black beans, guacamole or spicy sauce. Patacones can be a side dish too in Costa Rica.

28. Costa Rican Tacos

Costa Rican food, food in Costa rica, costa rican dishes, Costa Rican cuisine, Tacos

Costa Rican Tacos is similar to Mexican tacos. The most popular ingredients are corn tortilla, beef, onion. Tacos is served with French fries and ketchup and mayonnaise sauce. You can find as street food in Costa Rica and in locals restaurants.

29. GUACAMOLES

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Guacamoles are probably one the easiest dish on this list to prepare of Costa Rica food. It is served with tortillas because the Guacamoles serve as a dip. It is a mixture of avocadoes, tomatoes, peppers and lime juice. So delicious!

30. Ensalada Rusa (Potato Salad)

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Ensalada Rusa in Costa Rica is the version of Russian salad. Ensalada rusa is made of beets, potatoes, eggs, and mayonnaise is a cold dish and perfect to have in warm days in Costa Rica.

31. Salchipapa

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Salchipapa is a simple but delicious street food. Hot dogs with French fries with ketchup and mayonnaise isn’t healthy but adults and kids love it so much.

32. Fresh Tropical Fruits

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Fresh tropical fruits as snack in Costa Rica, dessert and even for breakfast. There are different fruits in Costa Rica from banana, pineapple, papaya, coconut which are perfect for those warm days in the beach.

33. Chorreadas

Costa Rican food, food in Costa rica, costa rican dishes, Costa Rican cuisine, Chorreadas

Chorreadas are corn pancakes as a sweet traditional dish in Costa Rica. You can make a sweet version with chocolate syrup and banana. Or you can make chorreadas with cheese both of them are yummy.

Desserts in Costa Rica

34. FLAN

Flan is gold colored caramel custard served with liquid caramel on top. Flan is one of the most popular desserts in Costa Rica and Latin America.

35. Tres Leches Cake

Costa Rican food, food in Costa rica, costa rican dishes, Costa Rican cuisine, Tres Leches Cake

Tres Leches Cake is a milk cake with meringue cream on the top. Tres Leches Cake is one of the most popular desserts in Costa Rica and it’s also baked in most of the countries in Central America. Prices are $3-4 USD.

36. Arroz Con Leche

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Arroz Con Leche is a mix of rice milk, with sugar, lemon and cinnamon. Arroz con leche is a must to try in the list of Costa Rican desserts. Prices are $3-4 USD.

37. Melcochas

Costa Rican food, food in Costa rica, costa rican dishes, Costa Rican cuisine, Melcochas

Melcochas are little sweets with cream and sugar cane. Melcochas is a perfect sweet and souvenir in Costa Rica sold in the groceries and bakeries.

38. Churros

Churros is a perfect snack in Costa Rica. Churros is a sweet dough with sugar and chocolate. You can find as street food in Costa Rica especially in the cities.

39. Copos (Churchill)

Costa Rican food, food in Costa rica, costa rican dishes, Costa Rican cuisine, Copos

Copos also called Churchill are snow cones is a perfect refreshment in a tropical country like Costa Rica. Copos is a street food in Costa Rica served in a glass with shave ice, with syrup and condensed milk. Prices is around $1 USD.

40. Tártaras Cocadas

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Tártaras Cocadas is so delicious as sweet snack in Costa Rica. It’s a small cake filled with a coconut sauce with vainilla and milk. You will find as street food in Costa Rica.

41. Pan Dulce

Costa Rican food, food in Costa rica, costa rican dishes, Costa Rican cuisine, Pan Dulce

Pan Dulce is a traditional bread in Costa Rica. Pan Dulce is made in Easter with flour, eggs, sugar, margarine and milk. It’s also common in countries around Central America.

42. Bizcocho (Cheese Rings)

Costa Rican food, food in Costa rica, costa rican dishes, Costa Rican cuisine, Bizcocho

Bizcochos also called cheese rings is a traditional snack in Costa Rica made with corn cheese rings. Bizcocho is deep fried and you can add salt and pepper.

Drinks in Costa Rica

43. Pipa Fria

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Pipa Fria is the name in Costa Rica for the coconut water. As a tropical country when relaxing in the beach you can’t miss your coconut. You can get them from street sellers for $3 USD.

44. BATIDOS (SMOOTHIES)

Batidos (Smoothies) is a drink made with the seasonal fruit mixed with powder milk. Smoothies are made with milk instead of water. Choose your favorite seasonal fruit like mango, banana and papaya. All of them are delicious and prices are around $2-3 USD.

45. REFRESCOS

Refrescos, fresh juice in Costa Rica

Refrescos of natural fruits you can find everywhere in Costa Rica and different flavors: Tamarindo, Cebada, Cacao, Strawberry, Papaya. So sweet and you can find them cold and for $1 USD.

46. COSTA RICAN COFFEE

Costa Rican Coffee you will find different kind of them in every region. If you are coffee lover as us you will love to try. There are a few coffee shops offering local Costa Rican coffee.

47. Agua Dulce

Costa Rican food, food in Costa rica, costa rican dishes, Costa Rican cuisine, Agua Dulce

Agua Dulce is boiled with brown sugar with lime. It’s served with ice and is refreshing. Agua dulce is an alternative to have coffee.

48. Costa Rican Beer

Costa Rican beer always great for partnering these Costa Rican dishes. My favorite drinks in Costa Rica is beer and the best is Imperial Beer, Pilsen and Bavaria are great too. You will find everywhere around the country. Prices are around $2-3 USD.

49. Chili Guaro

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Image from James Rajotte

Guaro is the most popular of the list of drinks in Costa Rica. There a few kind of Guaro in Costa Rica. Guaro is similar to rum from outside derived from sugarcane alcohol but it taste strong as vodka. Chili Guaro is with tomato juice, lime and hot sauce.

50. Vino de Coyol (Coyol Wine)

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Vino de Coyol also called Coyol Wine is coming from the palm and you will find locals drinking in the village. Coyol Wine is made from fermented sap of a Coyal palm and it tastes strong. Coyol Wine is a must to try in Costa Rican drinks.

ACCOMMODATION BUDGET TRAVEL IN COSTA RICA

There are dormitory rooms that you can rent the bed for as low as $8 USD a night if you want the cheapest option. AirBnb are also available, mostly for about $20-25 USD a night. Click here if you want to get $30 credit on your first booking in AirBnb.

Double room hostels can costs up to $30-40 USD a night while mid-range hotels costs more or less $80 USD a night. Click here if you want to find the best deals with Booking in Costa Rica.

BEST TIME TO VISIT COSTA RICA

In Costa Rica their summer (December to April), there are fewer rains than normal. In their winter (May to November), rains are almost non-stop. For most tourists best time to visit Costa Rica is  from December to April because of easier transport. 

Click here to know more about the weather in Costa Rica!

CASH AND ATM IN COSTA RICA

The currency of Costa Rica is called Colòn and as of now, $1 USD is worth 600 Colòn. Do not exchange your currency at the airport because you’ll get less than what you’ll get with the city’s exchange. Anyway if you are bringing USD you can use them while traveling around Costa Rica no need to exchange them.

Bank or debit cards in an ATM are the recommended way to access your funds while traveling in Costa RicaKnow real-time currency exchange here!

Having insurance while you are traveling outside your home country is very important. Make sure that you have one too, to keep you safe in your trips around the world.

Feel free to use our links with discounts for BookingAgodaAirbnb and Klook. By using our links, you will help us to continue with the maintenance of the website and it will not cost you anything. Thanks for the love guys. 

Happy Travels!

Ruben Arribas is a Spanish traveler who has traveled more than 70+ countries around the world. Now based in the Philippines!

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